Tips on repairing a miscut reccessed light hole

subman

Member
Location
Monmouth County
Made a miscut while installing a 4 inch recessed light. Too close to the beam, have to move it over about a 1/2 inch. Any tips on the best way to repair this?

Thanks
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
Cut the beam:D

Not much you can do besides move it over and patch it.
You laugh but I have done that. Took my saws-all and "sliced" out enough of the joist for the can to fit. Had to run screws through the side of can because clips couldn't expand out because of the joists.

Also helps to have a "drywall" guy on speed dial!;)
 

jaylectricity

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
I've done the "chip away the beam" trick.

Try a piece of 1x3" strapping, lay it flat across the hole above the drywall, along and tight to the beam. Screw it in through the drywall. Cut your new hole, including the strapping. Patch the drywall along the strapping. You'll be filling sort of 1/2" of empty space where the drywall used to be before you made your cut the first time. Be sure to hit those screw holes and let it dry. Then install the can. Then paint, then trim.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
If you cut away the beam - be sure you know exactly what you are cutting - if it is not a critical structural item you may get away with doing that. If it is a structural support item, you may compromise it's integrity
 

MiElectrician

Member
Location
mi
The guy I work with starts in the center of the hole and cuts an x that way if he hits a beam he can adjust the hole. Of course it's a little late for that lol.
 

JFletcher

Senior Member
Location
Williamsburg, VA
If the beam is just interfering with the spring clips, screw the can to the beam and use the remaining two on the other side.

If it's interfering with the can itself, your best bet is to cut out the ceiling joist-joist, install a large patch, recut the hole, install the light, then let the drywall guy mud/sand/finish. You cant cut a circle and patch it with wood behind b/c that wood will be in the way of the spring clips. If the ceiling is textured or other near-impossible to match finish, you could use 1x4's (~8" long-2" overlap on each side of the hole) arranged to make a 1x8, patch, drill thru the wood then put screws thru the side of the can into the 1 by's.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
The guy I work with starts in the center of the hole and cuts an x that way if he hits a beam he can adjust the hole. Of course it's a little late for that lol.
If cutting with a hole saw or other similar hole cutter, make your pilot hole stick a bent piece of wire in and twirl it around to feel for obstructions. Insulated ceilings may have some additional challenges depending on insulation type or density and may require a little heavier duty probing wire or other device.
 
You laugh but I have done that. Took my saws-all and "sliced" out enough of the joist for the can to fit. Had to run screws through the side of can because clips couldn't expand out because of the joists.

Also helps to have a "drywall" guy on speed dial!;)
If the beam is just interfering with the spring clips, screw the can to the beam and use the remaining two on the other side.

If it's interfering with the can itself, your best bet is to cut out the ceiling joist-joist, install a large patch, recut the hole, install the light, then let the drywall guy mud/sand/finish. You cant cut a circle and patch it with wood behind b/c that wood will be in the way of the spring clips. If the ceiling is textured or other near-impossible to match finish, you could use 1x4's (~8" long-2" overlap on each side of the hole) arranged to make a 1x8, patch, drill thru the wood then put screws thru the side of the can into the 1 by's.
Cut the beam..... cut the joist
Don' t you guys care about structural integrity? :?
 

GerryB

Senior Member
I've learned to tell customers on a remodel you don't know what you might run into above the ceiling and especially laying out and installing cans could be tough. Even if they have one surface light and they want to make it a recess I tell them if the box is mounted to the joist you might have some patching to do. I wouldn't worry about notching one joist except that that is not so easy either, you make might more damage.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Cut the beam..... cut the joist
Don' t you guys care about structural integrity? :?
Having the light in the right place is more important then having the ceiling collapse on you.

Depending on conditions that joist/beam may not be supporting much, but one needs to evaluate things before just doing it. Some smaller rooms with joists only intended to support the ceiling - those you may be able to get away with completely cutting out the joist. If it is part of a truss rafter - just shaving off a half of an inch from one side of it may seriously compromise it's structural strength and effect other items it is supporting.
 

JFletcher

Senior Member
Location
Williamsburg, VA
Cut the beam..... cut the joist
Don' t you guys care about structural integrity? :?

Re-read my post, please

" your best bet is to cut out the ceiling joist-joist,"

Im saying cut the drywall ceiling from joist to to joist, basically a 16 x 16" sq section. Cutting the wood itself is patently retarded. Im not a structural engineer, and even if I were I'd not cut a joist to fit in a can light.


Are you referring to my suggestion? Because the spring clips work on strapped ceilings so they would also work with a piece of strapping right along the hole.
I wasnt. Perhaps if the patch bracing is small enough it would work fine as you say. I usually use 1 by x, because its available. I have tried thinner wood and it almost always splits when screwing into it.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Re-read my post, please

" your best bet is to cut out the ceiling joist-joist,"

Im saying cut the drywall ceiling from joist to to joist, basically a 16 x 16" sq section. Cutting the wood itself is patently retarded. Im not a structural engineer, and even if I were I'd not cut a joist to fit in a can light.




I wasnt. Perhaps if the patch bracing is small enough it would work fine as you say. I usually use 1 by x, because its available. I have tried thinner wood and it almost always splits when screwing into it.
Thanks for clarifying, I didn't read joist-joist as joist to joist, and wasn't really certain what you were trying to say, I thought it was a typo or maybe you stutter:blink:
 

JFletcher

Senior Member
Location
Williamsburg, VA
Thanks for clarifying, I didn't read joist-joist as joist to joist, and wasn't really certain what you were trying to say, I thought it was a typo or maybe you stutter:blink:
You're welcome. Certainly the rest of my post showed the intent tho?

" install a large patch, recut the hole, install the light, then let the drywall guy mud/sand/finish."

Perhaps in the future Ill do step by step bullet points, lest some poor EC read my initial post and start hacking apart large sections of framing rather than drywall. :D

Your post about engineered trusses is spot on. From experience, Id say any cutting, notching, drilling or shaving be ditched for another method.

Happy 4th all~~~
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
You're welcome. Certainly the rest of my post showed the intent tho?

" install a large patch, recut the hole, install the light, then let the drywall guy mud/sand/finish."

Perhaps in the future Ill do step by step bullet points, lest some poor EC read my initial post and start hacking apart large sections of framing rather than drywall. :D

Your post about engineered trusses is spot on. From experience, Id say any cutting, notching, drilling or shaving be ditched for another method.

Happy 4th all~~~
First time through, sorry I got too hung up on thinking you wanted to cut the joist that the rest just didn't soak in so well. Don't feel bad, I think many misinterpret things they read once their mind gets set on something even if it is spelled out a little better in following sentences. Good writing is a lost art and schools don't seem to put as much focus on it like they used to, that is just a fact of life these days. And good reading is not going to happen if there is little out there that is good writing - vicious circle. I wouldn't even say that most of what is put out there on social media, forums, etc. is even considered a "D" in writing classes I had in school, maybe if you ignore spelling and acronyms the content may get you a passing grade in second grade level but definitely not at high school level in my time.
 

JFletcher

Senior Member
Location
Williamsburg, VA
First time through, sorry I got too hung up on thinking you wanted to cut the joist that the rest just didn't soak in so well. Don't feel bad, I think many misinterpret things they read once their mind gets set on something even if it is spelled out a little better in following sentences. Good writing is a lost art and schools don't seem to put as much focus on it like they used to, that is just a fact of life these days. And good reading is not going to happen if there is little out there that is good writing - vicious circle. I wouldn't even say that most of what is put out there on social media, forums, etc. is even considered a "D" in writing classes I had in school, maybe if you ignore spelling and acronyms the content may get you a passing grade in second grade level but definitely not at high school level in my time.
We usually remember the first and last things said to us, or that we read. My leaving out two prepositions, "from" and "to", gave an unintended meaning to my words. I frequently speak this way, relying on cadence, intonation, pauses, hand gestures, and so on, to get my point across. I often forget while writing that I dont have those aids, and it sometimes leads to misunderstandings.

At least you all dont have to try to read my cursive. :D:D
 
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